The Ether Monument is a 40 foot tall sculpture that commemorates the first demonstration of general anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital on October 16, 1846. This sculpture is located at the Boston Common, and it is the only sculpture in the park that commemorates an event, rather than an individual. The inscription taken from the Book of Revelation reads: “Neither shall there be any more pain.”
Dr. Leroy D. Vandam, former chairman of anesthesia at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital (the department where I have served as a resident for 3+ years — exposed to Harvard’s superinflated egos) had written a superb, well-researched essay titled “A History of Anaesthesia at Harvard University”. A sample quote:
THE AMERICAN CONCEPTION
Within a span of four years in the US, anesthesia was born. Why did several people develop the same idea? Owsei Temkin had written: “Sociologists of science have cited in evidence for social causation the multiple appearance of the same discovery, “Multiples” in the language of Robert Merton. The independent use of anesthesia by Long, Wells and Morton is a classical example of this tenet. “Though discoveries are not necessarily ideas, both are spoken of as being “in the air”. Both regional and then intravenous anesthesia would ultimately pursue similar courses.
Intrigued? Read the whole thing.
And have a great weekend everyone!